Sport Saved My Life Twice: The Story of Shawn Sadowski

The first time was Australian Rules Football and the second was Wheelchair Curling.

Meet Shawn “Boomer” Sadowski. Boomer found footy when he was 19. He was a troubled youth and footy kept him off the street and gave him his first group of mates. In 2014 Boom was in a car accident and woke up to find himself a paraplegic. His home therapist introduced him to the Olympic Curling Coach and after his first curl he “was hooked”. He had found his second group of mates.

In 2003 Boom was selected by the USAFL to represent his country as part of the U23 World Team playing in a footy tournament in Darwin. Unfortunately, that trip had to be cancelled due to the SARS outbreak.

In 2021 Boomer was selected to the USA Wheelchair Curling Team. He was one of eight on the team. His goal was the Paralympics in Beijing. He is now the first alternate on the team. While he narrowly missed out on this years Paralympics he is very focused on making the team for Milan in 2026. Boom will get to represent his country.

Boomer is a fighter with a disarming light demeanor. No matter what is happening in his life he is happy and always smiling. He was always full of energy at the footy club and that belied his background. In Boom’s words…”I would have hated to think what would have happened to me if I had not found footy. It gave me something to focus on and a group of mates that were a positive influence”. His journey in footy; from his first kick, to travelling with the team, to playing D1 and winning US selection; unknowingly helped him prepare for the challenges ahead.

The entire USAFL community wishes Boomer the best of luck and we all plan to be cheering for him as an Olympian in 2026.


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